You gotta know when to fold ’em
Psyonix is doing away with Rocket League‘s gambling-like microtransactions for something more akin to crafting. Sort of.
In August, Psyonix announced that it’s nixing Rocket League‘s lottery-focused crate system — essentially just loot boxes — likely a preemptive measure as legislators around the world take increasingly severe stances against in-game gambling. Today, Psyonix revealed the replacement for crates. It’s a blueprint system that does away with any uncertainty to exactly what the player is purchasing.
Here’s how it works: After some matches, blueprints will randomly drop — just like crates drop now. That blueprint will feature an item that can be crafted (complete with a chance to be certified, painted, etc.) If the player wants to craft it, they spend real money for in-game credits to purchase the item. Psyonix hasn’t listed the prices of items, but more rare blueprints (like a black market goal explosion, for example) will cost more than the more common blueprints. It’s also unknown whether individual attributes, like an item being painted, will jack up the price.
This all goes into effect in December. When the update goes live, any crates in a player’s inventory will be replaced by a random blueprint. Any remaining keys (the current real-money currency) will be converted to credits — although the conversion rate hasn’t been announced.
There’s also going to be an item shop that features rotating cosmetics, presumably similar to the current system in Fortnite. The shop won’t require any blueprints for purchasing items; they’re just immediately available to buy with credits. However, Psyonix notes that anything bought from the item shop is bound to that account and cannot be traded.
There are still a lot of questions about blueprints, but perhaps the biggest concerns how all this will affect the trading economy. Rocket League has a healthy community of players who constantly trade sought-after items or straight-up sell them for keys. Psyonix declined to elaborate as to whether blueprints, credits, and/or items crafted from blueprints will be tradeable. If they are, the trading scene might not suffer as badly as most people feared (although, there’s still the very realistic chance that super rare items from crates will plummet in value); if they aren’t, trading will be all but dead.
Regardless, this is the cost of getting out of gambling. Psyonix made a mint for years with microtransactions that were modeled after the pull of a slot machine. Now that the climate is changing, Psyonix has created a system that’s more broadly responsible and could be just as exciting when an ultra rare blueprint drops — except then you need to decide whether that item’s worth ponying up cash. At least players know what they’re getting now.
Blueprints and Final Crate Revealed [Rocket League]